Gloria Marie Huffman
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11/22/1922 ~ 1/12/2020
Gloria Marie Huffman, also known as Dot, was the first child born to Joseph Shirley Mims and Lillian Cynthia (Kennedy) Mims. Her childhood and formative years were spent in Pasadena, California. After finishing Pasadena Jr. College, she was invited by her aunt and uncle to come live in Chicago, where she attended Central YMCA College.
Gloria was among the first 20 African Americans to integrate Spiegel Mail Order House. In 1944, she was one of the first investors for the Parkway Garden Homes, a mutually Negro-owned six hundred unit apartment building in Chicago and one of the first African American cooperatively owned buildings in the country. When finally built in 1951, she served on many building committees and was co-editor of the Parkway Guardian Newsletter. In 1948 she was married to Maurice E. Huffman by Fr. Samuel J. Martin, who performed the first and only double marriage with her cousin Roger Wilson and Harriet Lewis.
As a member of St. Edmonds’s Episcopal Church, her work involved serving with the Episcopal Church Women for the parish and Diocese, as well as Vestry member. She also served as a Girl Scout leader, credit union president, St. Veronica’s Guild president, and participated in other various activities. In 1982, she was awarded “Woman of the Year” from Chase House, a social service agency dealing with early childhood education. She was also a member of the Episcopal Society Cultural Racial Unity (ESCRU), a lifetime member of the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE), and a delegate tasked to elect the first Black Suffragan Bishop, Quintin Primo, Jr., from the Diocese of Chicago.
Gloria was appointed as a U.S. Regional Chairperson for the “Time of Fast”, a program to alleviate world hunger sponsored by the Y Men’s International Service Club. As an active member of the Chicago “Y”, she attended numerous meetings where she enjoyed all activities and made life-long friends.
Gloria was very active and politically involved in the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement by marching, boycotting, and registering voters. She spent three days at the 1968 “Resurrection City” in Washington, D.C. to fight poverty in America. Gloria devoted many hours of her time, skills, and services to many organizations.
Travel was the great joy of her life and she was fortunate to be able to visit all the continents. Her friends found her to be fun-loving and humorous and she was always on the “ready to go”. She knew her glass was half-full and the best were yet to come.
Gloria retired from the Chicago Municipal Reference Library as a Reference Librarian after 32 years, and returned to Pasadena in 2004. She joined St. Barnabas Episcopal Church; serving on the Vestry, ECW, as a UTO Chair, and delegate to the 2009 Episcopal Diocesan Convention. She was a member of the Nubian Roses of the Nile, “Red Hat Society”, and the Pasadena Women’s Connection.
Gloria is preceded in death by her parents, sister, Mary Louise (Sibby) Traylor, and brothers, Joseph (Buddy) Mims, Julian (Pal) Mims, and Don Mims. She is survived by her brother James Michael Mims, Sr. (Sandra), several nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors.